Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment

30 06 2012

In a fleeting moment, your life can change with the diagnosis of an illness.  When we hear the news, about ourselves or a loved one, we know life will never be the same.  A couple of years ago I decided to support the Leukaemia Foundation by raising funds through the “Be Brave and Shave” challenge.  My hair was there one minute and shaved off the next!!  “Fleeting Moments” is this week’s WordPress Challenge.

Buzz cut: all in a good cause

Apart from the fundraising and support for those in need, I found it was an interesting and emotional experience and one I’ll never forget.  It was quite confronting to have such a short crop and although I loved the feeling of a velvet head I did get some strange looks, particularly when I was shopping.  It was also really liberating – you would be amazed at how many layers a buzz cut can peel from you.  I urge everyone to do it at least once in their lifetime.

Shave in progress – my hair was gone in a flash!

Brave to shave my head??  No, not really.  I think it is braver to live with an illness, the treatment and the fight for life – that’s bravery.  Thanks to the generous support of family, friends and colleagues, we raised over $2000.  To find out more about Leukaemia, Myeloma and Lymphoma check out the resources and links here.

 





A new name – A new identity

27 06 2012

I’ve changed my name.  After nearly twelve years together, I decided to adopt my partner’s family name and it feels really, really good.  In Western Australia, we are not able to marry or celebrate a ‘civil partnership’ or ‘registered relationship’ so changing my name is a visible sign of our commitment as well as the love and rings we share.

I’m quite surprised actually because I’ve never had any inclination to change my name but I’ve never really liked it either.  I have always been called “Louise” even though it is my middle name.  It has been awkward and annoying to continually explain that it’s not that I don’t like my first name, I’ve just never been called by it.  People insist I tell them what my “real” name is.  So, my “real” first name is now Louise and I’ve taken my partner’s family name.

Despite not really liking my original full name, I have been quite possessive and fought to protect it.   Some time ago I worked for a company which changed its corporate logo and lettering format so everything appeared in lower case.  everything.   It became the standard format for all stationery including business cards and name badges.  Apart from the fact that I think proper nouns should have a capital letter, it irritated me to think that they could ‘brand’ my name to match theirs.  (I now work at a company that uses all capitals – hahaha!!)

2012 has been a tumultuous year.  We’ve muddled through a year of grief with the family after the sudden loss of Beth last year.  It affects all we do.  Six months later, we still have ‘crying’ days which is only natural as we miss her presence every day and it is only really starting to sink in.  During the time we’ve spent with the family, they have drawn me in and brought me close which has been beautiful.  Beth was always the one to ease me into the circle, to create opportunities for me to be included.  When she died, I wondered where I’d be without her and where I’d stand when the very close family drew in even closer.  As it turns out, I was right in the middle there with them.

A name for the rest of the journey

So it seemed only fitting that I change my name to reflect who I am and how I feel.  Names really do hold so much of our identity.   I feel like I can let go of a lot of things now, a lot of stuff from the past that belongs with that me.  I won’t forget or banish them, but they’re just not me anymore.  This is a new threshold, a new name for the rest of my journey, and I like it.

Even in Beth’s passing she has helped me to feel included in the family and proud to stand with them so I’m glad to make that official.  I know Beth would be proud that another has joined her clan and I’m glad I’ve finally taken the plunge (even though the paperwork is a nightmare!!).  We saw Dad on the weekend and he’d prepared a sign for ‘The Newest Member’ which was stuck on a six pack of beer.  I was so glad to see him although he did say:   “Now you’re one of us, you’ll have to drink beer you know“.

Oh dear, if only I’d known…  🙂

 





Contemplative Photography 12

25 06 2012

This week’s contemplative feature is on the Elements which

have fascinated humans for millenia.

Take a moment to centre yourself and your spirit,

look at and through the images.

How many elements can you see?  Three? Four? Five? Six?

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Earth – Air – Fire – Water – Wood – Metal





Share Your World – 29

25 06 2012

I’ve missed a few weeks of Cee’s Challenge to “Share your world“.  Follow the link to join in.  Here are my answers for this week:

1. What sound or sounds do you love?

I love the sounds of nature.  I really enjoy birdsong and like to hear them call and respond or mimic sounds they hear.   The magpie call is a glorious warble and the Kookaburra’s laugh is raucous.

2. If you could be a tree or a plant, what would you be?

Hmmm.  I would like to be a large tree on the edge of a sports playing field, providing shade and a spot to sit and watch the game.   A ‘picnic tree’ would be ideal!!

3.  What is your favourite recipe that was passed down from your mother or grandmother?  Have you mastered it as well as the original?

I have collected quite a few personal recipes and prefer to have them hand written from the person.  I put them in a booklet and when I make something the recipe is then forever known as “Margaret’s Tea Cake” or “Merveen’s Banana Cake” or “Janine’s Peach Slice”.  I am yet to tackle Bethie’s Moccasin (now there’s a story) or her “Green Dip”  but I will get to that one day.

4.  What is your favourite genre for novels and why?

I rarely read fiction because I struggle with reading so it is not very enjoyable.  I do listen to a lot of ‘talking’ books though and find them great for trips in the car.  I prefer biographies and accounts of people’s lives – they’re just so interesting and inspiring!!  I also like a good mystery with suspense but without the graphic details.  I find the level of detail in crime and violence (on TV or in novels) unnecessary and disturbing and I don’t find it ‘entertaining’.  I prefer a novel that features the intrigue of various characters and the mystery of a good ‘whodunnit’ without all the forensic maggot counting.  My favourite is Harry Kemelman’s  “Rabbi Small” series or a good PD James.

 





Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

23 06 2012

We are all creators and co-creators in this life.  What are we creating?  This week’s theme from WordPress explores images that mean “create”.  In the last few years I have started to let out my inner artist who has been locked inside for a long time.  On a trip to Albany, I was relaxed and content enough to create a quick pencil sketch of a cottage on the Strawberry Hill Farm.

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19 06 2012

And I would add:
laughter with old friends, a favourite movie or well read book on a rainy afternoon, home made soup and a gentle, knowing nod.

Mindfulbalance

Affection would not be affection, if it was loudly and frequently expressed . . . It lives with humble, un-dress, private things; soft slippers, old clothes, old jokes, the thump of a sleepy dog’s tail on the kitchen floor.

 C. S. LewisThe Four Loves,

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

16 06 2012

This week’s Daily Post theme is: Close.   I must admit, this is one of my favourite photos.  I saw a pot of beautiful Gazanias sunning themselves outside the local bakery and stopped to take a few close up pics.  This shot never fails to cheer me up, I love the vibrant colours and stripes.  Nature is truly amazing.  Enjoy!!

The beautiful striped Gazania








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